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Posts Tagged Pakistan China Friendship

Pakistan enters the New Silk Road by Pepe Escobar

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Pakistan enters the New Silk Road

April 24, 2015
By Pepe Escobar

Now how do you top this as a geopolitical entrance? Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on BOARD an Air China Boeing as he enters Pakistani air space. And these JF-17s are built as a China-Pakistan joint project.
Silk Road? Better yet; silk skyway.
Just to drive the point home – and into everyone’s homes – a LITTLE further, Xi penned a column widely distributed to Pakistani media before his first overseas trip in 2015.
He stressed, “We need to form a ‘1+4′ cooperation structure with the Economic Corridor at the CENTER and the Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation being the four key areas to drive development across Pakistan and deliver tangible benefits to its people.”
Quick translation: China is bringing Pakistan into the massive New Silk Road(s) project with a bang.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, also on cue, stressed that Pakistan would be in the frontline to benefit from the $40 billion Silk Road Fund, which will help to finance the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road projects; or, in Chinese jargon, “One Belt, One Road”, that maze of roads, high-speed rail, ports, pipelines and fiber optics networks bound to turbo-charge China’s LINKS to Europe through Russia, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean.
The Silk Road Fund will disburse funds in parallel with the new Asian Infrastructure INVESTMENT BANK (AIIB), which has already enticed no less than 57 countries. China’s assistant foreign minister, Liu Jianchao, has not delved into detailed numbers, but he assures China “stands ready to provide financing.”
So no wonder Pakistani media was elated. A consensus is also fast emerging that China is becoming “Pakistan’s most important ally” from either West or East.
Beijing’s CAREFULLY calibrated commercial offensive mixing Chinese leadership concepts such as harmonious society and Chinese dream with a “win-win” neighborhood policy seduces by the numbers alone: $46 billion in investment in Pakistan ($11 billion in infrastructure, $35 billion in energy), compared to a U.S. Congress’s $7.5 billion program that’s been in place since 2008.
The meat of the matter is that Washington’s “help” to Islamabad is enveloped in outdated weapons systems, while Beijing is investing in stuff that actually benefits people in Pakistan; think of $15.5 billion in coal, wind, solar and hydro energy projects bound to come ONLINE by 2017, or a $44 million optical fiber cable linking China and Pakistan.
According to the Center for Global Development, between 2002 and 2009 no less than 70% of U.S. aid was about “security” – related to the never-ending GWOT (global war on terror). As a Pakistani analyst wrote me, “just compare Xi’s vision for his neighbors and the history of AMERICA in Latin America. It is like the difference between heaven and hell.”
That “X” factor
At the heart of the action is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), whose embryo had already been discussed when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Beijing in the summer of 2013. The economic corridor, across 3,000 km, will LINK the port of Gwadar, in the Arabian Sea, not far from the Iranian border, with China’s Xinjiang.
China is already in Gwadar; China Overseas Port Holding Company is operating it for two years now, after helping to build the first phase. Gwadar formally opens before the end of the month, but a first-class highway and railway linking it to the rest of Pakistan still need to be built (mostly by Chinese companies), not to mention an international airport, SCHEDULED to open by 2017.
All this action implies a frenzy of Chinese workers building roads, railways – and power plants. Their security must be assured. And that means solving the “X” factor; “X” as in Xinjiang, China’s vast far west, home to only 22 million people including plenty of disgruntled Uyghurs.
Beijing-based analyst Gabriele Battaglia has detailed how Xinjiang has been addressed according to the new guiding principle of President Xi’s ethnic policy. The key idea, says Battaglia, is to manage the ethnic conflict between Han Chinese and Uyghurs by applying the so-called three “J”: jiaowang, jiaoliu, jiaorong, that is, “inter-ethnic contact”, “exchange” and “mixage”.
Yet what is essentially a push towards assimilation coupled with some economic incentives is far from assured success; after all the bulk of Xinjiang’s day-to-day policy is conducted by unprepared Han cadres who tend to view most Uyghurs as “terrorists”.
Many of these cadres identify any separatist stirring in Xinjiang as CIA-provoked, which is not totally true. There is an extreme Uyghur minority which actually entered Wahhabi-driven jihadism (I met some of them in Masoud’s prisons in the Panjshir valley before 9/11) and has gone to fight everywhere from Chechnya to Syria. But what the overwhelming majority really wants is an economic shot at the Chinese dream.
The Pakistani counterpart to Xinjiang is Balochistan, inhabited by a little over 6 million people. There have been at least three different separatist factions/movements in Balochistan fighting Islamabad and what they call “Punjabis” with a vengeance. Former provincial minister Jaffar Khan Mandokhel, for instance, is already warning there will be a “strong reaction” across Balochistan to changes in the corridor’s routes, which, he says, “are meant to give maximum benefit to Punjab, which is already considered the privileged province.” Islamabad denies any changes.
The corridor is also bound to bypass most of the key, northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Opposition political star Imran Khan – whose party is on top in Khyber – has already condemned it as an injustice.
Beijing, for its part, has been very explicit to Islamabad; the Pakistani Taliban must be defeated, or at least appeased. That explains why since June 2014 the Pakistani army has been involved in a huge aerial bombing campaign – Zarb-e Azb – againt the Haqqani network and other hardcore tribals. The Pakistani army has already set up a special division to take care of the corridor, including nine battalions and the proverbial paramilitary forces. None of this though is a guarantee of success.
Karakoram or bust
It will be absolutely fascinating to watch how China and Pakistan, simultaneously, may be able to keep the peace in both Xinjiang and Balochistan to assure booming trade along the corridor. Geographicaly though, this all makes perfect sense.
Xinjiang is closer to the Arabian Sea than Shanghai. Shanghai is twice more distant from Urumqi than Karachi. So no wonder Beijing thinks of Pakistan as a sort of Hong Kong West, as I examined in some detail here.
This is also a microcosm of East and South Asia integration, and even Greater Asia integration, if we include China, Iran, Afghanistan, and even Myanmar.
The spectacular Karakoram highway, from Kashgar to Islamabad, a feat of engineering completed by the Chinese working alongside the Pakistan Army Corps of engineers, will be upgraded, and extended all the way to Gwadar. A railway will also be built. And in the near future, yet another key Pipelineistan stretch.
Pipelineistan is linked to the corridor also in the form of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, which Beijing will help Islamabad to finish to the tune of $2 billion, after successive U.S. administrations relentlessly tried to derail it. The geopolitical dividends of China blessing a steel umbilical cord between Iran and Pakistan are of course priceless.
The end result is that early in the 2020s China will be connected in multiple ways practically with the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Large swathes of massive China-Europe trade will be able to avoid the Strait of Malacca. China will be turbo-charging trade with the Middle East and Africa. China-bound Middle East oil will be offloaded at Gwadar and transported to Xinjiang via Balochistan – before a pipeline is finished. And Pakistan will profit from more energy, infrastructure and transit trade.
Talk about a “win-win”. And that’s not even accounting for China’s thirst for gold. Balochistan is awash with gold, and there have been new discoveries in Punjab.
New Silk Road action is nothing short than frantic. The Bank of China is already channeling $62 billion of its immense foreign exchange reserves to three policy banks supporting New Silk Road(s) projects; $32 billion to China Development Bank (CDB) and $30 billion to Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM). The Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) will also get its share.
And it’s not only Pakistan; the five Central Asian “stans” – rich in oil, gas, coal, agricultural land, gold, copper, uranium – are also targeted.
There’s a new highway from Kashgar to Osh, in Kyrgyzstan, and a new railway between Urumqi and Almaty, in Kazakhstan. We may be a long way away from the new high-speed Silk Rail, but trade between, for instance, the megacities of Chongqing or Chengdu in Sichuan with Germany now moves in only 20 days; that’s 15 days less than the sea route.
So it’s no wonder a “special leading group” was set up by Beijing to oversee everything going on in the One Road, One Belt galaxy. The crucial action plan is here. Those who’re about to go silk, we salute you.

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Why is US its Own Biggest Enemy? Pakistan middle class fixes sights on China

Unknown-8US  administration has a penchant for not listening to the advice of its own diplomats. They sent a brilliant diplomat to Pakistan, Ambassador Munter, who in a short time repaired the broken relationship between the two nations. He became one of the most popular US  diplomat ever sent to Pakistan. Why? Because, Amb.Munter represented the heart and soul of what the US psyche is about and even the most hostile Pakistanis respected him. But, the US shooting in its own foot syndrome took over and Amb.Munter was removed as US Ambassador. He is fondly remembered by all Pakistanis as a friend, not a “Master.”

 

Pak-China-130822-156685-640x480There was a time, when a US President would say to Pakistan, “JUMP,” and the Pakistan Government would respond, “HOW HIGH.” But, US has government under Mr. Obama’s Administration has mastered the art of shooting itself in the foot. It has a penchant to kicking its long time friends in the shins, while cavorting with their wily enemies, like in the case of India. One wonders whether the US government Foreign Policy is run by people with Ph.Ds. in Incompetence. The talking heads of Brookings and Stimson Centers are more interested in pushing their own Foreign Policy Agenda’s than the interests of the people of these United States. The key power group, which governs US Foreign Policy, is AIPAC, to which US interests are secondary as long as Zionists interests are being served. US Think Tanks, Academia, and the Zionists, who hurt US interests at the expense of their hidden agenda, heavily influence Press. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous blowback of this one point agenda, a manifestation of which is seen as the creation of an extremely hostile public reaction against the US in the Islamic world. US serve 20 million Jews, but neglects nearly 1.1 billion Muslims. Some Islamic countries have found other options to replace the benefits they received from US.  In Pakistan, China has played a remarkable role in providing a shoulder to Pakistan, when, the US administration left it reeling under the chokehold of War on Terror. US Organizations blindly flailing away in a panic mode after 9/11 and making wrong decision and chasing shadows, until, t came to a point where the US paranoia amounted to building dungeons in air. Instead of searching for the root cause of this behemoth disaster, they became the judge, jury, and the investigators in fixing the blame, smack dab on whole of the Islamic World. This served as a bonanza to Zionists interests and the unleashed a tsunami of propaganda against the Islamic world on the organs of public opinion they controlled, such as TV (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX), Newspapers like the New York Times a.k.a Jew York Times and its evil twin the Washington Post. Even local sources of news like TV news and Press started publishing the bylines written in the evil twins. Thus, Islam and Islamic Nations were demonized to the hilt. Every Jewish and Hindu Temple became a media hub and majority of news men and reporters in their congregation became news savant on the connection between Islam and 9/11.Everyone forgot, the attack on USS Liberty by Israelis to incite US to go to war against Egypt.  BlackOPS are alive and well, but, ostrich like attitude of the only Global Power, cannot prevent them from happening over and over again. The lingering suspicions remain in the Islamic World that 9/11 was perpetrated to trigger a Crusade type War between the US, its Christian NATO Allies and the Islamic has proven true.  Any person or organization when ventures to ask tough questions about 9/11 are mocked and made to appear as not credible by the same media and press, which serves the Zionists, instead of US interests. What is the outcome of such actions? Simply, that US is fast losing any friends it has in the Islamic world, except, a coterie of dictators, or “democratically,” elected leaders, like the corrupt Asif Zardari and Hamid Karzai. The latter keeps frightening the US government about the Bogeyman or Taliban, while under the covers rooting them on. Mubarak, Marcos, and Thieu of Vietnam have played this duplicitous game many times with the US. All this leads to the sacrifice of young American lives at the altar of arrogance and ignorance. Few, years, after such wars are over, US starts hobnobbing with the enemies, who killed their best and the brightest, case in point, Vietnam and Germany.  When will US government learn not to shoots its own foot and differentiate between friends and enemies? Currently, India, which backstabbed US during the Soviet era is the darling of US Foreign Policy makers, however, little do they realize, that during times of stress or war for US,

India would bail out in a heartbeat. US Policy Makers should ask one question: How many Indians have died in US initiated Wars, including the War on Terror. The answer is ZERO. On the other hand Pakistan, the Non-NATO US Ally has lost 3000 soldiers and over 30,000 civilians in War on Terror. But, US continues to snuggle with the wily and conniving Indians, because they are too dumb to know that India is taking them to hell in a hand basket while laughing all the way to the bank. The NRI or Non-Resident Indians, even though they are US Citizens, break the Oath of US Citizenship, by calling themselves not US Citizens of Indian origin, but, they call themselves, Non Resident Indians or NRIs, so much for their loyalty to the US constitution. They steal US IT Programs, SAP, and Hardware designs and start competing companies in India.  The call center denizens of Indian origin spy on US citizens credit reports and pass them on to unscrupulous fellow Indians to scam elderly US citizens. Thus US has lost its IF Radar, it cannot tell, a friend from foe and in doing so drives its steadfast friends like Pakistan to more reliable and trust worthy nations like China. In return Pakistan rewards its friend like China with access to its warm water ports like Gwader, Ormara, and Karachi. This access also connects the nations of the Middle East and Europe to a shorter sea cum land route to China via the all weather Karakoram Highway. As Shakespeare said in Julius Caesar:

There is a tide in the affairs of men. 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; 
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries. 
On such a full sea are we now afloat, 
And we must take the current when it serves. 
Or lose our ventures.

Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

 

For the US the ship has already left the port!

 
 
Pakistan middle class fixes sights on China
 
imagesMarch 11, 2013 
 
When Misbah Rashid taught Chinese 30 years ago, few signed up. Today her department has more than 200 Pakistani students, increasingly attracted by the prospect of an affordable education and a job.
 
For decades, a foreign education was the preserve of the richest who could afford the stratospheric expense of sending their progeny to Oxford or Harvard to mingle with an international elite. But Rashid’s pupils are mostly middle class. Ambitious and academic, they lack the means to afford an American or British education and so they sign up for Mandarin Chinese at theNational University of Modern Languages in Islamabad. Some of them hope to get a job with a Chinese company in Pakistan. Others will go on to further studies in China, which offers around 500 scholarships a year and cheaper fees.
 
A course in China costs a few thousand dollars a year, compared with the tens of thousands of dollars US and British universities charge. What is more, some Pakistanis say their great northeastern neighbour makes them feel more welcome“Nowadays as Pakistanis, you may not be as welcome in all other countries as we were a few years ago,” says 18-year-old Ali Rafi, who applied to study economics at Shangdon University after visiting last summer. “But when we went to China, there was one major difference in that we felt at home, the relations with people were really, really good. We were always welcomed, honoured and everyone was really pleased when they learnt we were Pakistani.”
 
He studies at City School, one of the private schools in Islamabad that has started to offer Chinese lessons to children as young as 12, who sing in Mandarin under the watchful eye of their teacher, Zhang Haiwei. If everything goes well, the classes will be rolled out across the school’s other 200 branches in Pakistan. And other private schools are doing the same. Pakistanis complain about the difficulty of getting visas and of the suspicion their nationality can arouse among those who associate Pakistan with Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, particularly in Britain and the United States.
 
The British government says that overall, 20 percent fewer student visas were issued in 2012, compared to the previous year. The US mission in Pakistan says it supports the world’s largest US government-funded exchange programme, sending over 1,000 Pakistanis on fully funded educational programmes to the United States every year. The independent Institute of International Education says 5,045 students from Pakistan studied in the United States in 2010-11, but that the number has declined steadily since 2001-02, the academic year of the 9/11 attacks.
 
There is also considerable resentment of US policy, including the “covert” use of armed drones to carry out attacks in Pakistan on militants. Whereas Chinese investment, China’s reluctance to admonish Pakistan in public, its rivalry with India and status as an emerging global superpower give it considerable goodwill.
 
— China’s growing presence in Pakistan —
 
Unknown-1The job market is another consideration. Pakistan’s main trading partner is still the European Union, but trade with China reached $12 billion last year, up 18 percent from the previous year. China is also Pakistan’s main arms supplier. Beijing built two nuclear power plants in Pakistan and is contracted to construct two more reactors. There are an estimated 10,000 Chinese living in Pakistan. Last month, it also took control of Pakistan’s strategic port of Gwadar, which through an expanded Karakoram Highway could connect China to the Arabian Seaand Strait of Hormuz, a gateway for a third of the world’s traded oil.
 
Mushtak Ahmed, 19, has enrolled under Rashid precisely because of the Chinese influx into Pakistan’s northern province of Gilgit-Baltistan, where China is widening the highway to its border“Lots of Chinese people are coming to our area and they just speak Chinese and we cannot understand it… so there is a need for translators,” he said. According to Pakistan’s embassy in Beijing, around 8,000 Pakistani students are already studying in China and thousands more are preparing to join them. Former ambassador to Beijing and Washington Riaz Khokar said wealthy Pakistanis tend not to return after studying in the West, but China offers a technical education that will benefit the Pakistani economy.
 
“The Chinese economic presence in Pakistan is growing so why should there be Chinese managers or Chinese at various levels? The idea was (that) we should train.” China has accused the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which wants an independent homeland in the western Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang, of training “terrorists” in Pakistan, although experts question how much of a threat they are. But the relationship has few of the tensions that Pakistan suffers with the United States, which repeatedly presses Pakistan to do more to clamp down on militants who launch attacks on American and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.
 
“I have dealt with their intelligence, I have dealt with their army, I have dealt with everybody at the highest level. They have never told us ‘do this or we will kick you as the US does,” said Khokar. But if political relations are cosy, then Haiwei says ordinary Chinese professionals are more circumspect. “In Pakistan we have more than 6,000 Chinese students. However, we have maybe about 50 teachers. We don’t have enough teachers. Some people found it dangerous so they don’t want to work here,” he said.
 

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